Digest Week 5 Trinity Term 2024

TT24, Week 5 (19 May - 25 May)

If you have entries for the weekly Digest, please send information to admin@philosophy.ox.ac.uk by midday, Wednesday the week before the event. 

Notices - other Philosophy events, including those taking place elsewhere in the university and beyond

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Philiminality Oxford Work-in-Progress Seminar for Cross-cultural Philosophy (POWSCP)

Date: Monday 20 May

Time: 16.00-18.00

Location: Seminar Room, Radcliffe Humanities

The Philiminality Oxford Work-in-progress Seminar for Cross-cultural Philosophy (POWSCP) seeks to offer graduate students working on liminal philosophies an opportunity to present their current work to Oxford‘s interdisciplinary graduate community and aims to be a place for the fruitful exchange of philosophical ideas across diverse traditions. The seminar will feature a 20-minute talk from each of the two speakers, followed by 5 minutes of comments by a graduate student respondent, before opening up for discussion with the audience. All are welcome!

Seminar 1: Agency and Free Will

  • Prerita Govil: 'Am I an Agent: The Nature of Action According to Pāṇini and the Naiyayikas'
  • Kassandra Dugi: 'Intention, Agency and Causation in Chapter 6 of Śāntideva's Bodhicaryāvatāra'

More information (including abstracts) can be found here.

Oxford Mathematics Public Lecture

Infinite Jesters: what can philosophers learn from a puzzle involving infinitely many clowns? - Ofra Magidor and Alexander Kaiserman

Thursday 23 May 2024

5-6pm Andrew Wiles Building, Mathematical Institute, Oxford

Ofra and Alex consider a simple but intriguing mathematical argument, which purports to show how infinitely many clowns appear to have some surprising powers. They'll discuss what conclusions philosophers can and cannot draw from this case, and connect the discussion to a number of key philosophical issues such as the problem of free will and the Grandfather Paradox for time travel.

Ofra Magidor is Waynflete Professor of Metaphysical Philosophy at the University of Oxford and Fellow of Magdalen College. Alex Kaiserman is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oxford and Fairfax Fellow and Tutor in Philosophy at Balliol College. While they are both philosophers, Ofra holds a BSc in Philosophy, Mathematics, and Computer Science and Alex holds an MPhysPhil in Physics and Philosophy, so they are no strangers to STEM subjects.

Please email Dyrol Lumbard to register to attend in person.

The lecture will be broadcast on the Oxford Mathematics YouTube Channel on Thursday 13 June at 5-6pm and any time after (no need to register for the online version).

Bodleian Student Editions Workshop

Date: Thursday 23 May

Time: 10.00-16.00

Location: Centre for Digital Scholarship, Weston Library. 

Would you like to contribute to the discovery of new research materials in the Bodleian’s manuscript collections? And to learn something about editing early modern letters and approaches to digital humanities along the way? Then please sign up for our Bodleian Student Editions editing workshops. 

Letters are the Cinderella of early modern documents. There are thousands of letters from the early modern period in the Bodleian Libraries, creating a vast bank of potential data for a myriad of research projects. But we actually know very little about the contents of each letter. With miles of manuscript records, it is impossible in the normal course of duties to describe the contents of archives in any detail. A typical catalogue entry reads ‘letters to Lord Guilford, from members of his family, 1766-73. 204 leaves’. This represents around 400 pages of text containing a continuous correspondence on a range of subjects, and in fact is part of an archive of hundreds of letters stretching across the 18th century. And this is just one collection! We would like to unlock these letters and encourage new research by guiding potential users to their value and interest. 

In this day-long workshop you will learn the skills to handle some of the Bodleian's special collections and to read eighteenth-century handwriting. No experience in history or historical texts is needed - we'll teach you all you need to handle, read and transcribe these fascinating letters.  

Level – open to complete beginners and students from any subject, undergraduate or graduate 

Refreshments will be provided 

If you are interested in coming to this workshop, please register here by Thursday 16th of May.

Oxford University Philosophy Society

Dr Susan Blackmore on ‘Who or what is conscious?’

Where: Lecture Room, Radcliffe Humanities

When: 7-8pm, Thursday 23 May

Abstract: In consciousness science we got it all wrong from the start. Starting from Nagel’s ‘What is it like to be a bat?’ leads inexorably to dualism and the ‘hard problem’. I suggest that no physical objects – bats, humans, or computers – can ever be consciousness, only the models they build can. Bayesian brain theory and predictive processing explain how. This approach means that there is something it is like to be all models - a kind of representational panpsychism?

Entry is £2 for non-members and free for members.